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Changes in Brain-Behavior Relationships Following a 3-month Pilot Cognitive Intervention Program for Adults with Traumatic Brain Injury


An exciting new study about the long-term recovery for those with brain injury has come out! Read the abstract and the full report below.


Facilitating functional recovery following brain injury is a key goal of neurorehabilitation. Direct, objective measures of changes in the brain are critical to understanding how and when meaningful changes occur, however, assessing neuroplasticity using brain based results remains a significant challenge. Little is known about the underlying changes in functional brain networks that correlate with cognitive outcomes in traumatic brain injury (TBI). The purpose of this pilot study was to assess the feasibility of an intensive three month cognitive intervention program in individuals with chronic TBI and to evaluate the effects of this intervention on brain-behavioral relationships.

We used tools from graph theory to evaluate changes in global and local brain network features prior to and following cognitive intervention. Network metrics were calculated from resting state electroencephalographic (EEG) recordings from 10 adult participants with mild to severe brain injury and 11 age and gender matched healthy controls. Local graph metrics showed hyper-connectivity in the right inferior frontal gyrus and hypo-connectivity in the left inferior frontal gyrus in the TBI group at baseline in comparison with the control group.

Following the intervention, there was a statistically significant increase in the composite cognitive score in the TBI participants and a statistically significant decrease in functional connectivity in the right inferior frontal gyrus. In addition, there was evidence of changes in the brain-behavior relationships following intervention. The results from this pilot study provide preliminary evidence for functional network reorganization that parallels cognitive improvements after cognitive rehabilitation in individuals with chronic TBI.

  • Most of the conversation today around brain injury seems to be focused on who or what caused it.  This is due in part because many in the medical field embraced the assumption that the brain is the only organ in the body that could not heal itself.  The Watson Centre Society for Brain Health, has moved beyond that conversation and challenged the assumption by providing a path to healing and in turn, hope for individuals who suffer from brain injuries.

    Jim McTaggart
    NHL Alumni, Hockey Executive
  • WCBH has helped me to recover from my MVA TBI / concussion. I had to admit “disability and injury” as I could not function any longer with the Competitive Edge that I had come to rely on within myself and my career! I recommend the full-time program. The time I put in will pay dividends towards my future… Admit and come to accept your injury and great things await with perseverance and resilience. The Watson Centre Society and support persons are patient. Please consider your mental and emotional well-being for yourself and your loved ones, let alone your future financial ability to earn. I have recovered crucial working life – executive functioning abilities.

    Cassandra, PhD
    Current Watson Centre Society Participant
  • My brain injury was 30 years ago and since my injury my thinking has been cloudy and slow and since being in this program for the past 6 months my thinking is clearer and faster…participating in this program is better than winning the lottery. 

    Janice
    Former Watson Centre Society Participant
  • I’m now naturally able to wake up at a reasonable time and have less of a need for napping. Better functioning in my days/life. I have improved socially for a few months now. 

    Eric
    Former Watson Centre Society Participant
  • Their focus is on restoring function in TBI victims so that they can once again enjoy life to the greatest extent possible. I highly recommend and endorse the Watson Centre Society for Brain Health for this purpose, and if they were closer to where I am in Seattle, I would send all my clients to them to get their lives back.

    Scott Blair
    Personal injury lawyer
  • I am a 49 year old, 11 year NHL veteran and my career was cut short due to multiple concussions. Since then I have been looking for a program(s) that might help me with my day to day mental struggles. A few months ago happened to sit in on a few of the Watson / BrainExTM seminars and am now excited to be able to take part in this groundbreaking approach for potential cognitive healing and a better way of life.

    Jamie Huscroft
    Retired Canadian hockey defenceman
  • WCBH is implementing a unique multidisciplinary and holistic approach in treating the effects of traumatic brain injury. This comprehensive program has the potential to present real opportunity for individuals affected by TBI to become whole again.

    Dr. Mike Dowling, DC, CCSP
    Chiropractic Sports Physician
  • I was fortunate enough to live a dream and play in the NFL for 14 years. While I don’t feel any negative cognitive effects at 46 years old, I know that the possibility is always there. Whether it is me or any of my former teammates that might benefit from the work of the Watson Center, I am glad they are there and care enough to do the work they are doing.

    Robbie Tobeck
    Former American Football Centre
  • As a 48-year-old 10 year NFL veteran, I am beginning to notice subtle changes in my own cognitive abilities. Misplacing my keys, fumbling over words, and forgetting names are becoming commonplace in my everyday life. I have long believed I would benefit from a Watson Centre Society/BrainExTM type program that was customized to address the specific needs of an NFL Player.

    Don Davey
    Former American Football Player
  • Mark Watson and the Watson Centre Society for Brain Health are taking on the root cause of TBI symptoms head on. As someone who played almost a decade of contact sport – I have yet to see a program that approaches the treatment with as much holistic innovation.

    Shea Emry
    Retired CFL’s Nastiest Player, Men’s Health Advocate